Elizabeth Stuart, queen of Bohemia, born in the palace of Falkland, near Edinburgh, Aug. 16, 1596, died at Leicester house, London, Feb. 13, 1662. She was a daughter of James I. of England, and a highly accomplished princess. She had many suitors, among whom the most eminent were the young king of Spain, Philip III., Charles Emanuel I., duke of Savoy, and Frederick V., elector palatine; but as a Protestant Frederick was preferred. The marriage was celebrated with great pomp in Whitehall chapel, Feb. 14, 1613. To defray part of the expenses of the ceremonies the king levied new taxes to the extent of £20,500. The total expense amounted to about £53,000, exclusive of the bride's portion of £40,000. Her husband was the head of the Protestant interest in Germany, and when in 1619 the crown of Bohemia was tendered to him by the insurgents, she urged his acceptance of it, with the remark that he should not have married a king's daughter if he had not the courage to become himself a king. Her entrance into Prague and her coronation were magnificent pageants, but her sovereignty soon came to an end. The imperialist forces advanced into Frederick's hereditary dominions and into Bohemia, and after the battle of Prague (Nov. 8, 1620) he and his queen were compelled to flee.
A refuge was offered to them by her husband's uncle Maurice of Nassau, at the Hague, where most of her children were born. One of her sons was Prince Rupert, so well known in the history of the English civil wars. Her youngest child, Sophia, afterward electress of Hanover, and ancestress of the present English royal family, was born in 1630, soon after the birth of her nephew, Charles II. Elizabeth went to England in 1660, and resided for about six months in the house of Lord Craven, whose acquaintance she made after the death of her husband (1632), and with whom she lived on terms of the greatest intimacy. Her charms are celebrated by Sir Henry Wotton, in his famous lines beginning, "You meaner beauties of the night."